The Changing Workforce:

Demographic Issues Facing the Federal Government

GGD-92-38: Published: Mar 24, 1992. Publicly Released: Mar 24, 1992.

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GAO provided information on some of the predictions made in two reports done for the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Workforce 2000 and Civil Service 2000, focusing on the demographic changes that have occured and are expected to occur, in the civilian labor force and the federal work force.

GAO found that: (1) Department of Labor economists and other experts do not agree with the reports' conclusion that labor shortages and skill gaps are likely to occur by 2000; (2) experts agree that the demographic composition of the labor force has changed and will continue to change; (3) OPM and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data indicate that many demographic work-force changes and conditions are more prevalent in the federal work force than in the private sector; (4) changes in the number of women, minorities, and older workers in the federal government could be addressed through a variety of human resource policies and programs, including child care, flexible work schedules, diversity training, and reemployment incentives; (5) failure to respond to changing demographic conditions could make the federal government more uncompetitive, since nonfederal employers are increasingly offering such programs; and (6) demographic differences within the federal work force indicate that different policies and programs may be needed in different agencies and regions.

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